Wall Street protesters coalesce; movement spreads nationwide
The Occupy Wall Street protests have been spreading in Los Angeles, California and across the country.
October 5th, 2011
12:00 PM ET

Wall Street protesters coalesce; movement spreads nationwide

The few hundred people camped out at Zuccotti Park in New York’s Financial District in an entrenched protest loosely focused on corporate greed and big business’s involvement in government will see their numbers bolstered by thousands this afternoon.

A half-dozen labor unions, including the local Transport Workers Union are joining Occupy Wall Street for a march through Lower Manhattan today. The demonstrators plan to leave their encampment and join the union members at Foley Square about a mile north of their location. Then, together, they’ll march back down to Zuccotti Park.

Listen to the full CNN Radio report here:

As the number of protesters grows the movement shows no signs of letting up. It has spread to several other cities across the country. An Occupy Philadelphia protest began this week.

Time.com: How Occupy Wall Street echoes the 'Indignados' of Spain

The movement is leaderless and lacking an organizational structure. But that doesn’t mean it’s disorganized.

“We didn’t set up a clear set of goals to begin with because we felt we were trying to bring people together and start a conversation, and from that conversation … the goals and demands will become clear,” said Lorenzo Cerna, one of the volunteers working in Occupy Wall Street’s ad hoc media center.

Open Story: Are you there? | Photos

The process for facilitating the conversation revolves around what the demonstrators call a General Assembly. It meets daily, sometimes twice a day, and anyone can stand up and voice an opinion. Those listening nearby then repeat what the speaker said, amplifying it so that everyone else can hear the message.

They’re trying to create a consensus around a clear objective through a group process.

“It takes some time. So we have to be patient,” Cerna said. “A lot of people want a specific thing to be said. But I think that specific thing will eventually be said.” As he looked at the diverse group of people around him he said, “This movement is very much about bringing people together and for getting people to start talking to each other and start working together.” In that regard, he believes Occupy Wall Street has been successful.

Opinion: Just a phase? You don't get it

While they figure out what their goals are, they’ve organized different volunteer groups tasked with keeping the park clean, distributing food donated by people sympathetic to their cause, and dealing with medical and legal issues.

They even have their own internal security force, although, they didn’t want to be called security. They settled on the term "De-escalation." They call out people violating the group rules of no drugs and alcohol and respecting each other’s property.

Who are the voices behind the protests, movement to #OccupyWallStreet?

While the people who make up Occupy Wall Street figure out how they want to focus their message, no one can say how long it will take and where this is all heading. As more people join the protest they get to have their opinions heard, too, drawing out the process.

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

soundoff (946 Responses)
  1. Paul

    These protesters can hang around on Wall Street for 20 years if they want. Wall Street don't care, it's business as usual. Most of America doesn't even know what the protesters are there for. The news coverage is minimal and will most likely continue to be.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • charles

      you forget, lol cnn is a corporation............ I guarantee you they do not stand for what the protestors stand for. lol Come on CNN fork over some money in taxes 🙂

      October 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • BU

      The "protesters" don't stand for anything! They are just bored morons who don't know how to use their abilities to better their own communities. Seems to me they are the greedy ones, and instead of earning a living, they'd rather whine about how others have it better than they do. A job is NOT a right, it is an outcome of using skills to serve others. There people don't. Simple as that.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patricksday

      Where are all these Jobs that the protestors are suppose to be working at??? 10 years of tax breaks still NO JOB. If your Lazy the last thing you would do is Protest and march, its too tiring. These are American Patriots standing up for OUR country, and her people who keep it running 24 7. The Police are part of We the People too, and we speak up for them as well!

      October 5, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • sgurdog

      F the news media, this ain't about exposure. This is about accountability and if enough people stand with them on Wall Street or on main street locally, they will be heard.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. filip27

    know whats sad? CNN made a Sarah Palin story appear more important than the protests. What has american media come to? CNN is a terrible source for news.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • BU

      What's sad is that Sarah Palin actually *IS* more important than these 'protesters' , though I'm not sure you can even use the term since these bored morons don't even know what they're supposed to be protesting...

      October 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ness1

      @BU actually, the protesters have been pretty clear on what they're protesting about. Maybe if you listen to them, instead of the propaganda machine that is mainstream media, you would understand.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. S. Patolo

    THE PRESS NEEDS to ALSO EXAMINE ITSELF, doncha think?
    Aside from insidious greed, out-of-control banks, brokers, bonuses, and borrowing, I wonder if the *PRESS* views itself as at all CULPABLE? Their oftentimes over-bearing, out-of-control, judgmental reporting tone/techniques adopted over the last 20 years has been highly PROBLEMATIC and influential in too many detrimental ways....No wonder no one sane wants to be President. People can't even sneeze without being made to look a fool...

    October 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. filip27

    CNN is censoring my comments.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BU

    Morons-No wonder our economy sucks, with so many people sitting idly by when they could be doing something productive with their time, and really aiding our communities. Shouting into the night helps no one!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • sgurdog

      F U 2. You have no idea what a democracy is if you don't believe in peaceful assembly and protesting. Get a job? Get a clue dick!

      October 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Seems to be helping your blood pressure and name calling skills. Keep working on them.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ness1

      Really? Maybe they would have jobs if the corporations didn't offshore jobs to China and India and get tax breaks for creating "jobs" here in America.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Burga

    I'll be convinced they're serious if they're still there in a month when it's in the low 30's at night.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MadmaxNY

    Hey 99%, this is 1% talking. Shut up and get back to work.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • sgurdog

      Hey 1%, we're going to take yours and divide it among many.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ness1

      Hey 1%, stop offshoring jobs to China and India!

      October 5, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Not gonna happen – we are sick of playing "slave" for you. Why don't you get a job instead of making money off of our sweat.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. filip27

    Erin Burnett is an idiot. America don't watch CNN. It makes you think like an idiot.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim

    Ok, Erin, maybe you can ask some more questions. There were many bank CEO's who made a fortune off of the bail outs and the banks aren't lending and homes are being foreclosed on because the banks had no oversight in lending. There's so much more and maybe you could do a story on that? Or maybe you're being paid off by corporate interests too?

    October 5, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SoHelpMeGod

    The ultra-rich do not get to be and keep being multi-millionaires without our help. We and ours help them and theirs tremendously. The
    ultra-rich seldom make the sacrifices that we and ours make for the good of this country. We and ours are near 100% of the ones
    that die in combat fighting for their freedom to find ways to screw us out of our money,
    like the mortgage fraud. The ultra-rich do not get there without the help of us and
    ours. We build the highways they drive on. We and ours build and fly the airplanes
    they fly in. They come to us for their healthcare. We build the cars they drive.
    We build the houses and buildings they live in. We grow the food they eat. We
    produce the expensive champagne, caviar, and pate they drink and eat they a lot
    of us can't afford. We engineer their electrical, chemical, civil, etc. We develop
    and maintain all of the computer related hi tech that they use. We teach their children.
    We work 60 hrs a week and get paid for 40 so that they can afford to give themselves
    multi-million dollar bonuses, sometimes with welfare that we give them that we politely,
    instead of accurately calling it WELFARE, we are nice enough to call it things like
    "bush tax cuts", "tax loopholes", "bailouts", "lower or no tax rates on much of their income", etc. It's time to put a stop to the rampant greed of the few.
    They are destroying this country.A lot of what they actually do is to try to find
    ways to create a country where the new definition of capitalism is where every advantage
    and most of the actual welfare is given to the rich. The ultra-rich and the ultra-poor
    are the only ones that get welfare. The middle-class get no welfare. We call the welfare
    for the rich "bush tax cuts", "tax loopholes", "fraudulent mortgage loans", etc. We call
    welfare for the poor "food stamps", "welfare checks", etc. A duck is a duck no matter
    what you call it. The middle-class needs to vote Democratic from now on. Please study
    up on what is going on because only if the middle-class bands together is this country going to survive.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • BU

      What a lame collection of stereotypes and generalizations. Please get an education and learn how to contribute to your community without being so jealous of what others have and do.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • diana

      your elementary dismissal of SoHelpMeGod's post in no way invalidates all the very real, and educated points that were expressed. it only shows how mislead and bored you are.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. stacy

    This is not just a protest.... Its a beginning. The reason no one can place 1 goal on the agenda is that the current economic capitolist situation in this country has caused many symptoms. For some of these vocal Americans its about housing, Jobs, enviroment, education, the list goes on and on.

    Im inspired...

    October 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • BU

      Inspired to do what??? Engage in destructive behaviors for no particular reason? Stupid decisions by consumers are as much to blame as anyone for the economic troubles, and these people had better get their head on straight, or their iphones and other crap that they foolishly spend money on will seem even more empty and irrelevant than they already do. Learn how to contribute to your community rather than spending time just being jealous of others...

      October 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. NotALemming

    There are NO black people there. These protests are RACIST!

    October 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chaz1

    I used to think the democratic process would solve everything – vote out the bad people and vote in the good – but I don't think there are any truely good people left with the resources to get elected or the power to remain in office once the establishment elites (who by definition don't want real change) try to force them out. I feel powerless against the corporations and those elites who seem to control everything now. Perhaps revolution is the only way. Granted, this movement isn't exactly a revolution, but it could be a start...I hope.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      I think the democratic process still has a chance – send the republican party a message it dearly needs to hear – "Your time in America is over for good".

      October 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tuxedomask5432

    What on earth? The fact that you have somehow managed to portray such a diverse group of people as a marginalized, hippie, loser mob is totally uncalled for. There are 90 year old women and men at this protest! The diverse group of people results in lots of opinions. But in the end, everyone can agree on one general idea. When wealth is controlled in the hands of the few (the top 1% controls 42% by the way) our government makes policy decisions in favor of those who can most afford it. CNN used to be great but now it is totally inacurate and misleading, and just as unbalanced as Faux News Network.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. al bud

    The protesters need a target and Wall Street happens to be it. The financial bailout stabilized our system but at the expense of the trust of the common worker. Our govt has allowed manufacturing to disappear, and all the jobs that support those companies. As a buyer I can control tens of millions of garments coming to the US and never hire anyone to help. The labor to produce those goods is in China, Honduras, Vietnam and Mexico. If I had to produce them here I could keep plants going all across the states, but then you'd pay 20-30.00 for a t-shirt instead of 10.00 at Walmart. What we need are small business loans to fund start ups, tariffs as an incentive to produce products here, a supportive approach to the environment instead of fining a company out of existence, tax breaks for those that hire, no salary limit on Social Security contributions. This is what we need, but our government and those running for office will never find the compromise needed to achieve any of this. When the march is at tens of millions on Washington, then we might be heard, but still powerless to the lobbyists, the money donors, who know all too well, money talks and bs walks. Words apparently are no where near as important as a C notes slipped into a politicians pocket.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earl Weaver

      You make more sense than the idiots running this country. Why can't they figure out what you are saying?

      October 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      They tried the raising tariff approach in the 30's. It was called the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. It was a terrible failure and cost American companies millions of dollars. When we raised tariffs on imported goods, other countries did the same to goods we produced here in this country, and our exports dropped by 66%. It crushed our GDP and cost the country hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of jobs until it was repealed.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
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